LOS ANGELES — Rip Torn, the free-spirited Texan who overcame his quirky title to turn into a distinguished actor in theater, tv and films and win an Emmy in his 60s for his comedy activate TV’s “The Larry Sanders Present,” has died. He was 88.
Torn died Tuesday afternoon at his residence together with his spouse, Amy Wright, and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Web page by his aspect, in accordance with his publicist Rick Miramontez. No explanation for loss of life was given.
His profession on stage and display screen spanned seven a long time, starting from an early profession of darkish, threatening roles to iconic comedic performances later in life.
After acclaimed performances in “Cross Creek,” ”Candy Chook of Youth” and different dramas, Torn turned to comedy to seize his Emmy because the bombastic, ethically challenged tv producer in “The Larry Sanders Present.” Created by and starring Garry Shandling, HBO’s spoof of TV speak reveals aired from 1992 to 1998 and is broadly credited with inspiring such satirical packages as “30 Rock” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Born Elmore Rual Torn, the actor adopted the title Rip in his boyhood, following the custom of his father and uncle. It was the topic of countless ridicule throughout his early days as a stage actor in New York, and fellow drama college students urged him to alter it.
With customary stubbornness, he refused, ultimately overcoming the jokes with a collection of highly effective performances that led to his being regarded, together with Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and James Dean, as actors of a postwar era who introduced tense realism to their craft. He was additionally a political activist who joined James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte and different cultural and civil rights leaders for a frank and emotional 1963 assembly with then-Lawyer Common Robert F. Kennedy concerning the nation’s therapy of blacks.
Torn made his movie debut in 1956 in an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ “Child Doll,” and inside just a few years was a revered movie and tv actor, engaged on events together with his second spouse, Geraldine Web page. On the Actors Studio, he gained the eye of Elia Kazan, who employed him as understudy to Alex Nicol, then enjoying Brick Pollitt within the Tennessee Williams traditional, “Cat on a Scorching Tin Roof.” Towards the top of the present’s Broadway run, Torn took over the position of the alcoholic, emotionally troubled former soccer hero. He did so billed towards his needs as Elmore Torn.
Forged later in a “U.S. Metal Hour” manufacturing for tv, he was informed to both change his title or forfeit the position. He threatened to return to his native Texas, however lastly agreed to be credited as Eric Torn. He was billed as Rip Torn thereafter. His success ultimately impressed a youthful cousin to take up performing, too — Oscar winner Sissy Spacek.
Different movie credit included “Critics Selection” and “The Cincinnati Child.” In Albert Brooks’ “Defending Your Life,” he was featured as a gregarious lawyer within the afterlife.
Brooks tweeted Tuesday night time, “R.I.P Rip Torn. He was so nice in Defending Your Life. I’ll miss you Rip, you have been a real unique.”
On tv he performed such figures as Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson and Walt Whitman.
His profession hit a dry spell within the 1970s, and he blamed it on the excitement in Hollywood on the time that he was tough to work with, a fame sealed when stress on the set of “Simple Rider” led to his being changed by Jack Nicholson for the 1969 launch and lacking out on one of many largest hits of the period.
“I wouldn’t say that I used to be blacklisted,” he informed The Related Press in 1984, “however the phrase acquired round that I used to be tough and unreliable. Unreliable! In all my years within the theater I’ve by no means missed a efficiency.”
He managed to maintain working in small tasks in theater, movies and TV, returning to the mainstream in 1983 with “Cross Creek,” by which he performed table-smashing backwoodsman Marsh Turner. The position introduced him his solely Oscar nomination, for finest supporting actor.
Amongst his different movies: “Metropolis Warmth” and “Males in Black.”
However he by no means fully shook his rebellious fame.
“What do they are saying about all the blokes which might be large actors?” he informed The New York Occasions in 2006. “Don’t they are saying they’ve a unstable mood and feelings? Yeah, positive they do! They’re not saying they like a pleasant, delicate man. Have a look at Sean Penn.
In 1994, actor-director Dennis Hopper mentioned on “The Tonight Present With Jay Leno” that Torn as soon as pulled a knife in a New York restaurant as he complained about being changed in “Simple Rider.” He sued Hopper for slander and gained a $475,000 judgment.
He remained lively in movie and tv in later years, together with a recurring position in “30 Rock” and a voice performing gig within the 2007 animated “Bee Film.”
He weathered a few drunken driving arrests, together with one in December 2008 close to his residence in Salisbury, Connecticut, that led to his placement in an alcohol schooling program.
Born in Temple, Texas, Torn initially studied agriculture at Texas A&M and performing on the College of Texas. After service as a navy policeman through the Korean Struggle, he hitchhiked to Hollywood. Touchdown solely tiny roles in motion pictures and TV dramas, and supporting himself as a fry cook dinner and dishwasher, he determined to shift to New York and search extra coaching as an actor.
Torn and his first spouse, actress Ann Wedgeworth, had a daughter, Danae, earlier than divorcing. In 1963 he married Web page, with whom he had co-starred within the touring manufacturing and film model of “Candy Chook of Youth.” They’d three youngsters, a daughter, Angelica, and twins Jon and Tony, and appeared in productions collectively till her loss of life in 1987. Torn additionally had two youngsters, Katie and Claire, with actress Amy Wright.
Former AP Leisure Author Bob Thomas in Los Angeles compiled this report earlier than his loss of life in 2014.
This story has been corrected to point out that Rip Torn was not in “The Hunt for Pink October”.